State prosecutors in New York City are reportedly focusing on the long-time chief financial officer of the Trump Organization as part of their investigation into potential fraud within the ex-president’s businesses.
Unnamed sources told the New York Times on Monday that as part of the Democratic Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr’s fraud investigation, prosecutors have been asking about Mr Weisselberg, a potential prelude to securing his cooperation against the former president as part of the wide-ranging business probe.
The Trump Organization and a lawyer for Mr Weisselberg did not respond to a request for comment fromThe Independent.
Mr Trump has called the investigation a “witch hunt” and a “fishing expedition.”
The probe began in 2018, as authorities looked into campaign-season hush money payments Mr Trump funnelled to two women who claimed they’d had affairs with the then-candidate, which he denies.
Since then, investigators have reportedly expanded the scope of the search, probing high-profile deals around the famous Trump Tower, various Trump hotels, and an estate belonging to Mr Trump in Westchester County.
They’re reportedly investigating whether the former president’s businesses inflated the value of their assets to get good loans, and deflated their value to avoid high taxes, and they’ve subpoenaed the Trump Organization’s main lenders, Deutsche Bank and Ladder Capital, the latter of which previously sold its Trump loans to investors.
Both institutions are reportedly cooperating with the investigation, as is Michael Cohen, the president’s former fixer and lawyer who was sent to prison for three years on federal campaign finance charges surrounding the hush money payments. During congressional testimony, Mr Cohen said the Trump finance chief orchestrated the hush money scheme.
In February, the investigators won a major victory after the Supreme Court enabled them to get eight years’ worth of Mr Trump’s financial records, following a vigorous attempt from the former president to keep them secret.